More than 300 people had to be treated for heat-related illnesses during East Carolina University's first football game of the season Saturday. ECU says it was prepared for the situation with five cooling stations, and free water bottles and cups of ice for people struggling with the intense heat. Despite the efforts, 50 people were sent to the hospital out of about 49,000 who packed into Dowdy-Ficklen stadium in Greenville for the season home opener.
"Anytime you have an unusual set of circumstances, unusually hot, unusually cold, and you have a large public event, you learn something as an institution. So, we are looking at our procedures and how we might take what we learned Saturday and apply it to make our plan stronger and to be more prepared," said ECU executive director Mary Schulken.
According to volunteers, 1,800 water bottles were sold at just one stand inside the stadium. .